[ZIP 1004] Dev fund proposal: Miner Directed Dev Fund (was: 20% to any combination of ECC, Zfnd, Parity, or "burn")

Go for it - feel free to remix this idea how you like :slight_smile: I’m stoked to see several positive reactions to this right away though I’m wary of interpreting forum replies as broad support yet. I will probably leave this post the way it is though except for clarifications… for now I like the simplicity of it compared to adding in a fixed minimum donation etc., though I see the potential appeal.

Here are two immediate drawbacks to this approach I’ve thought of:

  1. A plausible ultimatum by miners could be to veto the use of dev fund for any research into GPU-based or proof-of-stake based alternatives

  2. Another plausible ultimatum would be, for example, “we’ll direct 20% dev fund to ECC, but only if they promise to keep just 5% and refund 15% back to the miners via the coinbase address in the previous block”.

So this mechanism is clearly imperfect, but perhaps still good enough?

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This suits me very well. Love the idea and feels perfectly fitting.

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Two really good, insightful points. I would never have thought of that, so my well intentioned idea may have very bad unintended consequences in 5 years.

I certainly have a lot more to think about.

I am finding it difficult to absorb so much information and implication even though I though I knew exactly what was right. as always the devil is in the detail.

And with so much at stake is “perhaps good enough” good enough? aaaarrrg my head hurts :slight_smile:

EDIT:
@amiller - One issue I see with your proposal is that all of the mechanisms, even the burn option will enrich the ECC - This is only a contention because the ECC is for profit. It is a negligible concernn though but it does somewhat remove the ‘free will’ aspect of not wating to enrich a for profit.

Just highlighting it incase you had not thought about it.

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Yes of course, I followed the zip process closely
I was referring more to on this forum, there are a number of threads where we were discussing such things and although the selection was not decided upon for NU3 I was hoping people would still continue to consider the future possibilities

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This is a really interesting idea. I would imagine it would bring in a whole heap of uncertainty to the Foundation, ECC et al. when the funding could be cut to zero at any point. Maybe that is not a bad thing but seems hard to budget for and could have the unintended consequence of forcing any organisation to be overly conservative.

Leaving it up to miners to decide any development funding has obvious conflicts of interests such as funding work of proof of stake or alternative non-POW consensus mechanisms.

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I don’t think these huge Chinese farms will be in a hurry to donate money. I will probably not still be mining next October.

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I don’t think miners should fully control funding streams, but they are important stakeholders so should have influence.

Careful thought on the minimum & maximum amount they can send to each stream may address that.

Further idea - could some of the streams be multisig (not sure if thats even a thing) ? They could collect funds which can only be spent if parties (Zfnd + ???) agree. Maybe as a default address where remaining reward goes after the miners have made their choices, or perhaps have several & split the remainder between them.

(Edit: Fixed spolling mistakes :-))

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I’ve started a new thread pertaining to the modified version of this proposal to keep the topics easier to follow

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Depends on whether they’re thinking short-term or long-term. Their ability to profit from mining Zcash is contingent on Zcash being a going concern, which is contingent on ongoing research and development.

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I second the concerns of @ChileBob. This proposal gives 100% of the power over funding streams to the miners, and zec holders would have no say at all over what happens with the funding streams.

In my opinion both zec holders and miners should have some influence.

I think this is a significant flaw especially because miners’ incentives may not be the same as the long term term best interest of the whole zec community.

I really like the structure of this proposal, and would favor a similar proposal that gave miners control over a percentage of the funding but definitely not all of the funding. I would support this proposal 100% if Zcash were a proof of stake coin, but the way things are now there are a lot of zec holders who don’t mine, but ought to have some say in the zec development funding.

@amiller would you consider modifying this proposal so that miners control some percentage of the funding stream and the rest of the funding is fixed?

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In principle the more successful we are at getting clear signals from coin holders via coinholder petition or other mechanisms, the more that sounds appealing. Even then, coinholders are not necessarily representative of users making z payments but not holding a large balance, or activist volunteers who’ve contributed time. Also, coinholders who are able to sell quickly are the least affected by bad decisions that lead to lower price anyway. :thinking:

Also, regardless, coinholders still get a say due to the ease of exiting or threatening to exit and the ability to hard fork later if necessary. What’s at stake is whether they get access to the low friction fine grained mechanism here

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Ideally coin holders who vote would time lock their coins in order to ensure that their incentives are long term aligned with the rest of the zec community. In reality of course this adds complexity and would take time to carefully implement.

I really like the way your proposal is fine grained and allows dynamical governance decisions, but what about organizations needing to make plans months and years in advance?

Also I agree it would be ideal if users (who are not large zec holders) and activist volunteers had some say in this, not sure the best way to do that…

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My initial response to this approach was positive, except for the issue about miners getting an effective veto over proof-of-stake or anything else that devalues their ASICs.

But on second thought: what do we know about current miners’ outlook on other matters? On any matter at all?

Is anyone here a large ASIC miner? Has anyone here ever talked to one? What do we know of their appreciation of our technology, our values, or Zcash’s success on a timescale beyond the depreciation of their equipment? Are we really going to entrust Zcash’s long-term future to a group of people who have never expressed their opinion on any of our public channels?

Yes, there are severe culture and language barriers. Some here have tried to cross these, and failed. None the less:

For all I know, the large ASIC miners may be secretly admiring Zcash’s values and technical excellence, or they may secretly think that it’s a waste of money to work on improved usability, security and functionality that will bear fruit in the long term, when the money could have been spent on short-sighted publicity stunts. Blindly entrusting Zcash’s future to a secret cabal may not be the best idea.

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This is a good point. We have far less contact with miners than we do with other parts fo the community. That said, there is at least one ASIC miner at Zcon1 (I had lunch with him), and Nishant Sharma from Bitmain is here too. It’d be good to get his thoughts on the lay of the land and miners’ mentality.

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Not to mention that switching to proof of stake may be the best option for the future of ZEC (and the environment). I can’t imagine miners liking that. Any option that allows miners to effectively hold protocol designers to ransom, seems like a bad idea to me.

Disclosure of interest: I am a Founders’ Reward recipient (and protocol designer).

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What do you mean by miners holding protocol designers for ransom? If the software allows them to do it, that should be fine, right?

Agreed that miners may not like proof-of-stake but while we are on proof-of-work, it makes sense for us (community) to think about these dev fund proposals for now.

I think ‘may not like’ is an understatement, it’d be a huge threat to their business & there are some huge pools out there.

They’re important players (right now) so should have influence, but not total control - the top three pools could effectively de-fund anything they saw as a threat.

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They don’t have total control because they are not writing software :slight_smile:

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True - but the pools would be the ones choosing what percentage to send to which fund (within whatever the consensus limits are)… hence, power & control.

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Just ouf of curiousity, currently the 20% of the Founders Reward at current exchange rate generates nearly $5,000,000 per month.

On Zcon it’s stated that the ECC needs about $1,000,000, mainly for saleries/wages.

What’s the rational behind a proposal offering about 5x more than what’s needed?

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